May Commission Wrap-Up: Federal and state funding for transportation discussed;
More than $31 million in contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2018
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, May 7 meeting include an update on federal and state funding for transportation, a recap of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s work zone safety campaign effort and presentation of an award recognizing ODOT’s support of women in the transportation industry. Contracts were awarded for several projects, including SH-84 bridge replacement and I-40 pavement rehabilitation in Okfuskee County and resurfacing on a city street in Oklahoma City using federal and local funds.
Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson welcomed American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Chief Operating Officer and Director of Policy and Management Jim Tymon to the commission meeting. Tymon briefed commissioners on AASHTO’s efforts to advocate for federal transportation funding in Washington, D.C., focusing on stable and predictable funding levels for state and local transportation agencies. Tymon reiterated that even though more than 35 states have recently increased revenue for transportation, the federal government still has a responsibility to help fund the nation’s transportation system.
Patterson highlighted the department’s work zone safety awareness campaign which included public service announcements on social media and billboards throughout the state. Despite the agency’s increased emphasis on driver safety and awareness, fatalities and injuries in highway work zones are all too much a reality in Oklahoma.
“There were 75 fatalities in Oklahoma work zones in the last five years; 71 were drivers and passengers passing through work zones and four were ODOT workers,” Patterson said. “Those numbers cannot be tolerated and we must continue to communicate the need for work zone safety awareness.”
Just last week, two ODOT employees were hit by a vehicle while in their work truck near Beggs in Okmulgee County. Both workers survived the impact but sustained injuries requiring surgery and are still recovering.
Patterson updated commissioners on the recently approved state budget agreement which diverted about $47 million in motor fuel tax revenue away from ODOT to other areas of government to help balance the state’s budget. After several years of much larger budget cuts to ODOT, he said he was mostly pleased with the outcome of this legislative session.
Susan Davis, the president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar presented an award honoring ODOT as its 2018 Employer of the Year. The award honors employers who support WTS Oklahoma’s goals of recruitment, training and advancement of women in the transportation industry. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation employs about 460 women statewide, which is about 20 percent of the agency’s workforce.
The commission voted to award a contract for a nearly $4 million project to replace the SH-84 bridge over the North Canadian River near Dustin and a nearly $545,000 project to rehabilitate more than four miles of I-40 pavement east of Okemah, both in Okfuskee County. Commissioners also approved a nearly $3 million contract to resurface more than two miles of Memorial Rd. east of SH-74 (Portland Ave.) in northwest Oklahoma City using federal and local funds.
Commissioners voted to award 31 contracts totaling more than $31 million to improve highways, roads and bridges in 22 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Blaine, Cleveland, Craig, Creek, Custer, Garvin, Grady, Haskell, Kay, LeFlore, Logan, Love, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Payne, Pittsburg, Seminole and Stephens counties. A list of all awarded contracts may be found by visiting www.odot.org/contracts, selecting the April 2018 letting and clicking Go and then Award.
The eight-member panel, appointed by the governor to oversee the state’s transportation development, awards project contracts for road and bridge construction every month. The commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, June 4.
Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details can be viewed at www.odot.org.
At the Monday, May 7 meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission, the Oklahoma Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar presented the Oklahoma Department of Transportation with its 2018 Employer of the Year award for the agency’s ongoing support of the advancement of women in the transportation industry. Pictured, from left are OTC Chairman David Burrage, WTS Oklahoma President Susan Davis and Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson.
At its Monday, May 7 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract for a nearly $4 million project to replace the SH-84 bridge over the North Canadian River near Dustin in Okfuskee County. Once construction begins, the project is expected to take nearly seven months to complete.